Keep a Low Waste Profile this Summer

How will you spend your summer vacation? Now that school is out, you can enjoy the freedom of no assignments, deadlines, or early wake-up calls. Whether you’re staying at home, doing activities outdoors, or traveling with your family, don’t forget the four Rs – rethink, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Keep your Green Team habits strong over the summer. Here are some tips for low- or no-waste summer activities.

Pack a zero-waste picnic

Have you ever noticed how much waste there can be after a family picnic or birthday party? It takes only a little planning to have a gathering that has all the fun without the waste. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

• Whenever possible, use simple cloth napkins plus durable plates and utensils.
• Ask your guests to bring their own plates, cups, and utensils.
• Clearly label bins or bags for recycling and composting at the event.
• Have containers ready to store leftovers.
• Buy food in bulk or large sizes to reduce waste from packaging.

Don’t forget to take a group photo to share with friends about your fun, zero-waste picnic!

Bring things that are green

These easy, small steps will keep your waste low.

• Pack reusable snack bags of fruit, nuts, and other healthy snacks that travel well.
• Bring your reusable water bottle.
• Bring a cloth bag for food and souvenir purchases.

Travel lightly

Using public transport or traveling on your own energy can reduce your environmental impact, and also allows you to meet neighbors and locals. You can experience cultures in a slower, more present way when you avoid car travel.

• Take a walking tour to enjoy the nice weather.
• If time allows, plan a walk to a destination to which you typically drive. Maybe you’ll discover a fun shop or interesting view you hadn’t noticed before.
• View neighborhoods and countryside by bicycle.
• Try train travel for longer distances and watch the countryside out the window or meet the travelers seated near you.
• When traveling to another town, city, or country, learn how their recycling and waste disposal is the same or different from yours.
• Plan a hike in King County with this map of all our parks.two cyclists


Do you live in the Puget Sound area, want to hike, but don’t have a car?  Check out TOTAGO, which stands for “Turn off this app, go outside.” It’s a free Android and web app for planning trips accessible by public transit. It can find the right bus routes and hiking trails for your interests and location.


Let us know in a comment what you are excited about doing this summer! How will you keep a low waste profile while having fun?